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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-01-27

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said on Wednesday that the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus have agreed to intensify their negotiations for a solution of the Cyprus problem through a series of additional meetings in the coming weeks, adding that he would make himself available to them again soon to continue to take stock of progress and to encourage the parties in further narrowing their differences.

    The UN chief was speaking after a meeting at the UN offices in Geneva with the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, namely President of the Republic Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu.

    The meeting began on Wednesday morning and concluded in the early afternoon with a statement by the UN Secretary General.

    The UN Secretary General extended his ``deep appreciation`` to the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus ``for joining me here in Geneva today to take further steps towards a solution of the Cyprus problem.``

    ``Two months ago, I called the leaders together in New York because I felt the negotiations were losing momentum. During our meeting, I asked the two leaders to identify the core issues in all of the chapters yet to be resolved, and they have done this. I also asked them to agree on a practical plan. Both sides have worked energetically to take the negotiations ahead. Despite Mr. Eroglus heart surgery, the two leaders held four meetings, while their representatives have met a further 13 times,`` he said.

    He noted that ``there has been progress since we last met in November`` and that, ``based on discussions today, it is clear that the two leaders worked to move closer together through a range of bridging proposals, notably in the chapters of Economy, EU matters, and Governance and Power-Sharing.``

    ``Nonetheless, more work must be done to reach further convergences on the outstanding core issues,`` the UN Secretary General pointed out.

    He also noted that ``today, we have identified a number of elements designed to maintain momentum and to address more directly the details of a workable, mutually beneficial solution,`` adding that ``the meetings spirited and substantive discussions contributed to clearing the air on several key issues.``

    ``The leaders have discussed the outstanding key issues in a more interrelated fashion, since a settlement proposal will need to consist of an integrated package across chapters. I have encouraged both sides to talk to experts that I can make available on the technical aspects of the property issue,`` he said.

    The UN Secretary General noted that ``the sides have also agreed to intensify the negotiations through a series of additional meetings in the coming weeks and I have pledged to make myself available to them again soon to continue to take stock of progress and to encourage the parties in further narrowing the differences.``

    ``As recent surveys have shown, both communities in Cyprus want more than talks. They want a solution. The leaders have heard that message and they are acting. I welcome the steps that the leaders have taken today which give a clear indication of their commitment to reunifying Cyprus as soon as possible,`` he said.

    He noted that ``at the end of February I will be providing the Security Council with a report on the state of the talks,`` adding that ``I will closely follow the efforts of the leaders in the coming weeks as they reach further convergences across all chapters.``

    ``I am certain that, if the constructive spirit that I witnessed today continues, I will have a positive report to submit,`` he pointed out.

    The Secretary General said that they had agreed not to take questions from the press because ``these are issues of great sensitivity`` and that ``this is a very sensitive process of negotiations.``


    The Greek Cypriot side is satisfied from Wednesday`s meeting in Geneva, political sources said after the meeting of the leaders of the communities of Cyprus with UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

    During the meeting, efforts by Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Erogly to secure, by extortion, a deadline for a solution to the Cyprus issue by the end of March, failed.

    On the contrary, Eroglu assured the Secretary General that he accepts the convergences achieved during the talks his predecessor Mehmet Ali Talat had with President Christofias. However, this will become evident only in Nicosia when the negotiations will resume.

    During Wednesday`s meeting, the UN Secretary General listened to the views of both sides on most of the issues concerning the Cyprus issue.


    The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Palestinian National Authority Riad Malki, will pay an official visit to Cyprus, at the invitation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Markos Kyprianou.

    An official press release issued here said that talks will focus on the Middle East peace process and the Cyprus problem, issues of bilateral relations, the relations between the European Union and the Palestinian Authority and the Union for the Mediterranean.

    The Palestinian Foreign Minister will be received by the President of the Republic, Demetris Christofias and the President of the House of Representatives Marios Garoyian.

    At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministers Malki and Kyprianou will have a meeting and attend talks, in which delegations from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus and the Palestinian Authority will also participate.


    The European Commission is gathering facts related to the construction projects in the Karpas peninsula, in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus, to ensure they apply appropriate conservation measures.

    This is stated by EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule, in a reply letter to Cypriot MP of the Cyprus Ecologists and Environmentalists Movement, George Perdikis.

    The Cypriot MP sent a letter to Fule informing him on the serious issue of the destruction of the Turkish occupied Karpas peninsula, in the northeastern tip of Cyprus, through the various projects, such as roads, marinas, hotels and golf sites, asking for his opinion and views on the issue.

    In his reply, Fule says that the EU is committed to contributing to a sustainable economic development of the northern part of Cyprus and will continue to make the case for the necessary conservation measures for the special areas within the northern part of Cyprus.

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